tv [untitled] July 25, 2011 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT
that is important for crosswalks. a lot of pedestrian safety projects. even sometimes in a district -- i always use carmen chu as an example -- because she has a flat district. she says her streets are in pretty good condition but they have some pedestrian issues where they could use money to make sure that the long crosswalks are safe for seniors and kids to cross all the way. that is in there. almost $50 million is focused on pedestrian safety projects. so it is not just the roads. it is also a road-related work that is important for pedestrian safety. bicycle lanes are in there, signal lighting. but may look at geographical equity, it is spending the same
amount of money in each district, not because of the size, but what is most important to that district? we have different categories for different things. some might want more money for pedestrian projects because their roads are in ok shape. then there are others who just bought it for the roads. my streets are narrow, people get across, not all lot of history of pedestrian accidents. >> [inaudible] are you going to bring them back? >> yes, the budget does contemplate a police academy. the budget has passed, so there is a police academy included in there. we are glad to see that. i think the police department and public will be glad to see that. we are now getting more retirements from the police department and we would like to
have a number police officers coming in -- younger police officers coming in. >> you talked about sciu as the union that you had to work with. the pension is going to change their life. >> we did meet with retirees. they told us they're concerned is not their pension, it is health care. they have some plans that they believe are very good for them and their age already. our changes on the retirement services board have to do with economics. if there is a choice between the
purchase of generic drugs versus brand name drugs, that decision has come before the health services board. in my opinion, there is no difference between generic and brand name, except cost. so why don't we make a decision that saved us money without compromising quality? that is the kind of decision on what the health service's board to make. in by generic drugs -- invite generic drugs in. if we do not take quality away, we need to let you know, we are just lowering the cost. they are a little bit afraid of that, but i think they are more afraid of change which does not affect that quality of the health care they want. i think the additional person
that we anticipate to be on the health care board will pay attention because it is somebody being selected and presented by the comptroller's office that will pay attention to the cost. we need to have some cost containment but it does not need to compromise money. >> we just heard yesterday that there was a new comprehensive proposal, including resources that were already provided to the city in charity care. >> i have a team of people from the department of public health reviewing the proposal, also with the housing, also with the tenderloin community for the impact on their community, and of course, muni, mta, the human
services group. they are reviewing it in detail. i will be scheduling a meeting with cpm see to go over that to see how -- cpmc to see how that translates over into the impact we want. i do not have an immediate response except to say we are discussing this in detail. i am trying to help cpmc be successful at the board of supervisors and planning commission. as we get closer and closer to an agreement, i believe they need to listen to my advice. i work with the board every day. i know how they think. they want to have a successful vote at the board. i am guiding them there with the conditions -- it was not conditioned that i made up out of thin air. it was to deal with all of the
impacts of a hospital decide they want -- they want a big hospital and want to have to take care of everything else. i am very careful to know how each supervisor feels about the impact on the project. i would like cpmc to be successful because they do not have a lot of time. we would do the best we can and review every aspect of this so that they have the best chance of success. >> the issue of the state budgets have affected many local businesses. is there any way that the city could help more nonprofits? >> that is why i am proposing a
set sales tax. the state did make some severe cuts. we do not know when those cuts will start that impacting the nonprofits. as you know, through our city budget, if you ask many of the nonprofits, they're pretty happy. we restored a lot of the original cuts. their services reflect the values that i hold, board of supervisors hold. now the state is making cuts, some in the same places that we've restored. we cannot promise to back fill all of those cuts. we can promise to go through the same process and asked what are the critical services that we must save, and work on them as hard as we can. that is why i need an additional cushion with a half cent sales tax. that will give us the of the need to restore cuts that the city is making. it is unfortunate the state cannot resolve their problems
and they push it off onto the counties. i know the governor is trying hard, but it gets frustrating that they cannot agree. i am happy to be working with a board that can agree locally. maybe we need to send a message to get agreement that's fair. i need more resources to help with those state cut spirit that is by the have cent sales tax is important to me. and it is not increasing the sales tax, in my opinion. it is just saving half. the public gets the other half. that is what i considered the sales tax as a safety valve sales tax. >> i wanted to talk about redevelopment.
what is the city going to do with that? when the state cuts, how much impact is that to the city? >> on the zoning issue, we have calculated, in their process, they say if you want to restore your pre development agency, you have to pay a certain amount of money. we believe the amount of that money is about $20 million. we do not have that kind of money. we are trying to figure out ways in which we can finance that, but that they need to come through redevelopment. we do not have the money in the city at all. that is the challenge. the other challenge is, it is the opinion of the redevelopment
agency that it is illegal for the state to do this. the redevelopment agency for san francisco will most likely join in a state-wide a lawsuit against the state from doing this. as a city, we are reviewing our options, but because it is a separate agency, the redevelopment agency can make its own decisions. we have not included on our decision. we are working with the city attorney to get some aspects on the legality of this. we are fairly certain the redevelopment agency will be joining the state-wide lost it with all of the other major cities in the state.
they believe -- and there are good grounds to believe that -- that this is not a maneuver taken by the governor's office. >> does that mean we are going to have a temporary injunction first? >> i think so. the national league of cities, as well as the california redevelopment association, have indicated strongly their attorneys have strong opinions that that was not legal. >> [inaudible] you said many times that you would not be running again for mayor. have you changed? with all of these campaigns asking you to run, what is your position?
>> i tried not to pay too much attention to the people who have been starting the campaign to ask me to run. to the extent that i read and see it, i do appreciate that many people support what we are doing and how we are doing it. i enjoyed a lot of support, i think, not only internally from the government, but i think there are lot of people that agree with me. therefore, they believe that should automatically translate into my riding. there are two issues. -- running. i like that people are in joint what we are doing. it is much better than, you are a failure, get out of here.
for me, the personal choice has debate with an understanding of why i came to do the job and under what circumstances. it is a personal choice that i had. i never wanted to be a politician had i been, i would have signaled that many years ago. so i am still of the position that i will not be running for this job. i know there will be a strong effort the next few weeks to convince me otherwise. we will let that play out, but that is where i am at. i never look at myself as a politician. >> [inaudible] >> i think it is more appropriate for me to focus on the things that i asked the voters to pay attention to. i have not really paid attention to either of the candidates for what they are saying.
right now, to me, that is it a distraction. -- or what they are saying. i will not be endorsing anyone for any office. i do need to focus on the pension reform, sales tax, and on the road repaving, as my contribution to the voters. i think that is a lot already for people to understand. i think people will have to make up their mind about the other candidates they choose. but i hope they hold a session with you because you have some good questions. >> when you talk to supervisors, some say that you promised not to run. >> that was the circumstance. they did not want someone distracted. i understand that. that is why i came into this job.
>> how do [inaudible] you may go back in many years? >> of course, i do not think i would get this type of attention as city administrator. i do not have to do press conferences. city administrator is exactly what it is. administer the programs and policies with the mayor and board of supervisors. i enjoyed that. it does not have the day-to-day stress. one of the things i have been clear about as mayor is, i worry about everything. i worry about when i get up but will be on my phone, a shooting, pedestrian that got ran over, a police officer. you worry about everything.
you worry about every neighborhood, the fire victims. what happened to them? where are they going to live? what happens to their kids? you worry about every detail because you feel responsible for them. every day, the mayor is forced to do that because of where you are. everyone helps you expect them to solve their problem. i did not have that experience as the city administrator. therefore, i could go to sleep, i could have a two-day weekend. i could play golf and only worry about the ball and a whole. now i play golf and it is, where is the ball, where is the hole? my mind is on the budget, what i will say, how i will say it. yesterday, with the ping-pong
diplomacy, it was fun. i tried not to worry about it, but i said, i do not want to make a mistake because this is international and everyone wants to feel welcome, that they are involved. but as a mayor, you have to worry about many things. so i go to sleep tired, my notes are in front of me. i have to read my details and be prepared. it looks like sometimes i'm having fun, but in the back, my staff is working hard to prepare me, making sure i understand everything. it is not just making mistakes. it is doing the right thing and making sure it is the right way to do it. i compare myself to the other mayors in other cities. i went back to the conference of
mayors and i asked mayor bloomberg of new york. how did you do this over 10 years? these mayors, they have really been helpful. willie brown has been helpful in giving me advice about things that i did not have. i have had some private conversations with people about how to do things. that is part of my were read. i also enjoyed a lot of support from people because they want me to be successful. they know i am open to honest dialogue. whatever advice they give me, i keep it secret. and there are very content with that. -- they are very content with that. >> [inaudible] >> 6:00 in the morning on sundays. maybe every two weeks. >> [inaudible]
you just want to be a city administrator. you are used to these distractions. >> no, there were a lot of things i have to get used to the first few months. there are a lot of things that i cannot get used to in this job, the attention, publicity, but also, the variety of issues. there are so many things coming at you. for example, this today, a friend of mine in mailed -- e- mailed me and said that one of his in-laws was one of the fishermen that was caught out in the kabul area. i said that we would call the account the general in mexico. so we immediately made a call,
asked the mexican consulate to ask the mexican government to continue the search. do not stop. do everything you can. the weather is warm. people have relationships. i did not know that. i was reading the news like you, and all the sudden, a friend says, i have a relative there. can you plead with the government? i never expected to do that. but here he is, a resident asking for help. so we called the mexican consulate. they were transmitting information, the request. so it is things like that that you never expect. every day there is a challenge. if it reflects things that we can do, we will do it. ok. thank you very much. i hope this was helpful.
>> there has been an acknowledgement of the special places around san francisco bay. well, there is something sort of innate in human beings, i think, that tend to recognize a good spot when you see it, a spot that takes your breath away. this is one of them. >> an icon of the new deal. >> we stood here a week ago and we heard all of these dignitaries talk about the symbol that coit tower is for san francisco. it's interesting for those of us in the pioneer park project is trying to make the point that not only the tower, not only this man-built edifice here is a symbol of the city but also the green space on which it sits and the hill to
which is rests. to understand them, you have to understand the topography of san francisco. early days of the city, the city grows up in what is the financial district on the edge of chinatown. everything they rely on for existence is the golden gate. it's of massive importance to the people what comes in and out of san francisco bay. they can't see it where they are. they get the idea to build a giant wooden structure. the years that it was up here, it gave the name telegraph hill. it survived although the structure is long gone. come to the 1870's and the city has growed up remarkably. it's fueled with money from the nevada silver mines and the gold rush. it's trying to be the paris of the west. now the beach is the suburbs, the we will their people lived on the bottom and the poorest people lived on the top because it was very hard getting to the top of telegraph hill.
it was mostly lean-to sharks and bits of pieces of houses up here in the beginning. and a group of 20 businessmen decided that it would be better if the top of the hill remained for the public. so they put their money down and they bought four lots at the top of the hill and they gave them to the city. lily hitchcock coit died without leaving a specific use for her bequest. she left a third of her estate for the beautify indication of the city. arthur brown, noted architect in the city, wanted for a while to build a tower. he had become very interested in persian towers. it was the 1930's. it was all about machinery and sort of this amazing architecture, very powerful architecture. he convinced the rec park commission that building a tower in her memory would be the thing to do with her money. >> it was going to be a
wonderful observation place because it was one of the highest hills in the city anywhere and that that was the whole reason why it was built that high and had the elevator access immediately from the beginning as part of its features. >> my fear's studio was just down the street steps. we were in a very small apartment and that was our backyard. when they were preparing the site for the coit tower, there was always a lot of harping and griping about how awful progress was and why they would choose this beautiful pristine area to do them in was a big question. as soon as the coit tower was getting finished and someone put in the idea that it should be used for art, then, all of a sudden, he was excited about the coit tower.
it became almost like a daily destination for him to enjoy the atmosphere no matter what the politics, that wasn't the point. as long as they fit in and did their work and did their own creative expression, that was all that was required. they turned in their drawings. the drawings were accepted. if they snuck something in, well, there weren't going to be any stoolies around. they made such careful little diagrams of every possible little thing about it as though that was just so important and that they were just the big frog. and, actually, no one ever felt that way about them and they weren't considered something like that. in later life when people would approach me and say, well, what
did you know about it? we were with him almost every day and his children, we grew up together and we didn't think of him as a commie and also the same with the other. he was just a family man doing normal things. no one thought anything of what he was doing. some of them were much more highly trained. it shows, in my estimation, in the murals. this was one of the masterpieces. families at home was a lot more close to the life that i can remember that we lived. murals on the upper floors like the children playing on the swings and i think the little deer in the forest where you
could come and see them in the woods and the sports that were always available, i think it did express the best part of our lives. things that weren't costing money to do, you would go to a picnic on the beach or you would do something in the woods. my favorite of all is in the staircase. it's almost a miracle masterpiece how he could manage to not only fit everyone, of course, a lot of them i recognized from my childhood -- it's how he juxtaposed and managed to kind of climb up that stairway on either side very much like you are walking down a street. it was incredible to do that and to me, that is what depicted the life of the times in san francisco. i even like the ones that show the industrial areas, the once with the workers showing them
in the cannery and i can remember going in there and seeing these women with the caps, with the nets shuffling these cans through. my parents had a ranch in santa rosa and we went there all summer. i could see these people leaning over and checking. it looked exactly like the beautiful things about the ranch. i think he was pretty much in the never look back philosophy about the coit. i don't think he ever went to visit again after we moved from telegraph hill, which was only five or six years later. i don't think he ever had to see it when the initials are scratched into everything and people had literally destroyed the lower half of everything. >> well, in my view, the tower had been pretty much neglected
from the 1930's up until the 1980's. it wasn't until then that really enough people began to be alarmed about the condition of the murals, the tower was leaking. some of the murals suffered wear damage. we really began to organize getting funding through the arts commission and various other sources to restore the murals. they don't have that connection or thread or maintain that connection to your history and your past, what do you have? that's one of the major elements of what makes quality of life in san francisco so incredible. when people ask me, and they ask me all the time, how do you get to coit tower, i say you walk. that's the best way to experience the gradual elevation coming up above the elevation coming up above the hustle and bustle of the city